There was a time when Chloë Grace Moretz would be called one of the most promising young actresses in cinema, but she’s already surpassed that title, always appearing in such an eclectic range of projects and impressing in every single one. Her latest endeavour is voicing the titular protagonist in Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya – and we had the pleasure of speaking to her about the role, while she also gives us an update on Kick-Ass 3.
I’ve been such a big fan of Studio Ghibli for a while, Spirited Away for example. I loved how they work in a family experience and I enjoy that.
There is something so magical and enchanting about their work – has that been dispelled a little for you now you’ve appeared in a film and seen how it all works behind the scenes?
Not at all. I sat there watching it on a screen as I did all of the dialogue and it was mesmerising, to sit and watch it over and over, it’s absolutely beautiful. A really stunning experience to be honest.
When having worked on an animation, are you able to watch it back and immerse yourself in the tale and enjoy it more like an audience member would, than usual?
Yeah kind of, but then again in a weird it’s almost more personal. Your voice is the only thing you really know about yourself. Your look can change, you can cut your hair off, change your clothing. But your voice is had to change unless you’re a true character actor. So it’s more personal watching an animation, like listening to a voicemail of yourself, it’s awkward. It’s different for me from other animations I’ve done though, to see myself as Princess Kaguya was a totally different experience for me.
When working on an animation do you get to spend much time with your fellow voice actors or can it be quite a lonely experience?
I didn’t meet anyone actually, it was just me in a booth, doing my thing!
In regards to relating to the character of Kaguya, she’s young and there’s a lot of expectation on her shoulders as she’s thrust into the limelight. As a young actress is that a struggle you can relate to?
Yeah definitely. Though she has her hair done for her, her name changed for her, her whole life is overwritten and taken over. Whereas for me, I have a family who supports me. There are some moments when you have to be like “wait – this has to be my decision”, otherwise it’s not going to be me. That’s what Kaguya realised, it’s not her. She’s a girl from the woods, a girl who grew up trying to be whoever she wanted to be, and having a natural feeling with the Earth.
Talking of which, you’re 18 now so there’s a different variety of roles coming your way. But do you still seek the advice of your friends and family like you would have when 13? Or is it more of an independent process now for you?
No it’s just as much of a super intensive, creative and collaborative process. Every decision is truly thought out, just as it was when I was younger.
You’ve often gone for an eclectic range of projects, Clouds of Sils Maria is out soon, The Equalizer last year and now this – they’re barely comparable. Is that a conscious decision on your part – to keep trying new roles and testing yourself?
Yeah trying to be versatile is what I set for myself, never trying to choose the same role twice really. I want to stretch who I am as a person not just an actor. I look at every new project as an opportunity to try something new and be someone I haven’t been yet. What we’re doing is stepping into other people’s shoes, that’s what acting means to me.
The role in Clouds of Sils Maria must have been an enjoyable one to play?
It was amazing, it was a weird character for sure, because I was playing someone who people think I am, this crazy, loud, brattish American actress, going to parties, you know. Everyone that’s who I might be, so it was funny to portray a character who is like that, and has those issues. It was an inside joke between me and my family, you know what I mean? But Juliette (Binoche) and Kristen (Stewart) were amazing to work with. I learnt a lot from playing her.
Coming up you’ve got Dark Places and November Criminals – does this represent a move into more mature, dramatic roles, because these films appear to be intense and quite dark.
Yeah they’re very intense, and dark, and I think I gravitate towards these characters because I find them exciting, more challenging. I’m a very normal young girl, so to play normal characters aren’t fun for me as I’m sort of playing myself, I like to venture outside the box and play characters completely opposite to who I am, who have grown up in different circumstances than I did – and it really stretches me as a person, so that’s my goal, my dream in this business.
So finally, is there any update on Kick-Ass 3?
I haven’t heard anything about it, and I highly doubt we would do it.
Hypothetically speaking, is it a role you’d like to reconnect with one day?
Maybe, it depends. The character is so definite that in the second movie she was right, but not exactly where I wanted her to be, and if we revisited it again I would need her to be so, so perfect, because she’s such an amazing character and I wouldn’t want to tarnish who she is. I don’t want to take anything away from what we have already on screen, and keep it where it is. So if we did revisit it, it would have to be absolutely – and wildly – amazing.
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya is out in cinemas now, and you can read our 5 star review here.